One question–three right answers

Two teenaged girls visited my house one Saturday. They were from a large church in a nearby town, and they were doing door-to-door evangelism work.

Of course I invited them inside. I always enjoy conversations about religion, and when people come to my house for that purpose, I can’t say no. I enjoy witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latter Day Saints, showing them from the Bible that Jesus truly is the Almighty God and the only Savior. This conversation, though, would turn out differently.

We began talking about God, and we agreed about God. We talked about Jesus as the Son of God and the world’s only Savior, and again we completely agreed. We talked about the Bible as the Word of God, true and reliable, and still we agreed. All of us were having fun talking about our common faith as Christians.

“Tell me, J., when you became a Christian,” one of them urged me.

“It was a long time ago,” I answered. I became a Christian on a Friday afternoon. It was the Friday afternoon when the Son of God sacrificed his life on a Roman cross. His sacrifice made me a Christian.”

They couldn’t deny the truth of that, but they weren’t done asking the question. “When did that sacrifice become personal for you?” one of them asked. “When did you enter his Church?”

“I was about a month old,” I told them. My parents had the pastor come to the house, and he baptized me. My Baptism makes the cross of Christ personal for me—that’s when I personally became a Christian.”

“But you can’t remember something that happened when you were a month old,” one of them protested. I agreed that I didn’t remember the event of my Baptism. “When did you confess to Jesus that you are a sinner and invite him to be your Savior?” they asked.

“Oh, that,” I said. “I do that every day.”

Amazingly, the two of them left my house convinced that I am not really a Christian. We agreed about God, about the Savior Jesus Christ, about the Bible, and still they doubted the truth of my faith. Because I could not remember a single, emotional, overwhelming event which was the beginning of my faith, they could not accept that I really believe.

I do not doubt that some people become Christians in a sudden and dramatic way, one which they remember for the rest of their lives. Many Christians, though, grow up in the faith. They cannot remember a time when they did not belong to Jesus. They know they are sinners, and they know that they are forgiven and redeemed by Jesus Christ. As I would not doubt the faith of someone who dramatically came to Jesus, I cannot see why anyone would deny my faith because it does not have a dramatic beginning.

My third answer was honest and true. I do confess my sins to God every day. I do ask Jesus to forgive me every day. I do invite him to guide my life every day. I know of nothing in the Bible that says these things should happen only once in a lifetime. The daily life of a Christian, in fact, contains the cycle of repentance and faith. I would no more want to spend a day without deliberate repentance and faith than I would want to spend a day without breathing.

Jesus is my Savior, not because I gave myself to him, but because he claimed me. His righteousness and his sacrifice are my reason for confidence in my eternal home in heaven. I do not have to invite him to rescue me because he has already rescued me. He never needed my help. J.

 

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8 thoughts on “One question–three right answers

  1. Good post. I think Scripture’s evaluation of whether someone is a Christian has less to do with a dramatic moment that we can recall as it is the evidence of daily faith and bearing fruit of the Spirit, a relationship with God, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even trying to measure my daily faith and my fruit-bearing puts too much attention on me. That’s why my first answer–I became a Christian when Christ gave himself on the cross–is, in my opinion, the best answer. In other words, when I measure my faith, I have doubts; when I measure the one to whom my faith looks, doubts disappear. Thank you for reading and for commenting. J.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We all experience God differently. We are all raised differently. If we are brought up as Christians and well versed in the Bible, the odds are we will experience relatively little doubt that Jesus is our savior and the Son of God. Hence, we may not remember the moment we believed. Why should we? In any event, there doesn’t have to be a bunch of drama. My moment certainly was not dramatic.

    Because my wife and children are Christians, because I had begun to understand how important it is that America has a Christian heritage, because I begun to understand that even though I denied Jesus’ divinity, I still believed in Christian values, I finally decided to read the Bible. I finally realized no educated man should be so ignorant of a document that had made so large a difference. So I went to the library and got what I needed. Then day after day as I commuted to work, I listened to a recording of the King James Bible.

    After I had finished “reading” the Bible, I was out for a walk. When I walk I meditate, and I started thinking about what I had read. I reached a conclusion. The Bible had to be true, and I smiled at the thought.

    I did not fall to the ground. I did not see a blinding light. I did not hear Jesus. I did not feel convicted. I did not feel the burden of my sins or a sudden relief that I had been saved. I don’t even remember the exact date and time. I just realized I had been wrong, and I craved to know more about the Bible.

    God has a plan for each of us. What that might be is what we need to discover. To serve as His hands and feet, we need to know what He wants our hands and feet to do. And even to the Apostle Paul, God did not reveal everything to him all at once. Learning about God takes time, and we have all eternity.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That was interesting J. While I tend to be of the camp that there is always a “moment,” I can get how a moment could be so routine as to not be a moment at all. I suspect that is true for many raised in faith. Not everyone has a Road to Damascus moment. Now, on the other hand, when you spend 45 years as a raging heathen, the moment is more real.

    I do, however, have a problem with people who really like to dwell on their “moment.” That is because some tend to not use the moment as a testimony to a quickly changed life,as they should, but as a personal testimony to how awesome they are. Along with that is a tendency to minimize salvations not accompanied by a dramatic Road to Damascus moment.

    Liked by 2 people

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